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The International Guide to Designing Sport Programmes for Girls: Recommendations from the Field is a how-to manual designed to inform organizations as they develop effective, sustainable, sport programmes that serve girls and women.

Sustainable programmes must be led by people who understand and address the key challenges facing girls and their families. Challenges girls face are different from challenges affecting boys. Girls face gender-specific and institutionalized barriers to participation in sport and have unique motivations and expectations for their sporting experience. For example, a girl living in a poor household is often expected to care for younger siblings. A programme built to serve her needs, and the needs of her community, will have to accommodate her duties at home, or provide childcare while she participates in a sport programme. Ethically and practically, Women Win believes that the programmes that serve girls most effectively are those that emphasize girls' wellness over winning. Sport is inherently a competitive space. Girls can benefit greatly from learning how to compete, how to win and how to lose. However, as you will see in this guide, Women Win also believes that a successful sport programme should strengthen girls on and off of the field; growth and development of a young woman is always more important than winning or losing.


Target Audience

Recommendations from the Field is written for anyone, in any country, who wants to empower girls through sport. It is ideal for an individual or grassroots organization interested in building or improving sport programmes for girls, including teams, girls' and women's organizations, schools, clubs and faith-based groups. It can also serve as a reference for coaches, international sports and development organizations, donors, sports governing bodies, caregivers, researchers, and policy makers. The ideas in this guide can be applied directly to small groups of girls, as well as for informing larger, multinational initiatives.

This guide is aimed at programmes that serve girls ages 10 to 18, with a  specific focus on the younger adolescent, ages 10 to 14. Women Win has chosen to target the younger adolescent because of the vulnerability of that age. The younger adolescent is at a crossroads between childhood and adulthood,  and her body and place in society are changing and vulnerable. In many cultures, the younger adolescent is at point where she either continues her education or becomes a child bride. Between the ages of 10 and 14, she enters puberty and becomes susceptible to being sexually targeted by others, putting her at risk for pregnancy and disease. Women Win believes that this age presents the greatest potential for positive change in the life of a young woman, both because of a girl's vulnerability and because of her potential to be an agent for social change.